Quick Tips

3D Print Effects (And Where To Get Those Goofy Glasses)

For a brief time back in the 1950s, 3D movies were all the rage, but it was short-lived, probably because you had to wear those cheesy-looking 3D glasses to experience the effect. Although 3D has come a long way since then, unfortunately you still have to wear the cheesy glasses. Be that as it may, the 3D effect is starting to appear again in print ads in trendy magazines, which generally include the paper 3D glasses in the magazine. This effect can be created in Photoshop, no problem. The hardest part is finding a supplier for 3D glasses (okay, we’ll help on that part too. Try 3D Glasses Direct at www.3dglasses.net). Here’s a tip on how to create the 3D effect in Photoshop: Open an RGB image, then go to the Channels palette and click on the Red channel. Go under the Filter menu, under Other, and choose Offset. For Horizontal enter –5 and set Vertical to zero. For Undefined Areas, choose Repeat Edge Pixels, then click OK. In the Channels palette, click on the RGB channel to reveal the effect. Then, lastly, you have to determine which part you want to appear as “coming out of the image” toward the person viewing it. Switch to the History Brush (Y), and using a soft-edged brush, paint over the area you want to “jump out” from the image. As you paint with the History Brush, you’ll see your original untouched image paint back in (don’t sweat it, that’s what it’s supposed to do). Now all you have to do is order the glasses.



  1. jenny 4 June, 2009 at 18:47 Reply

    I am working on a project for my performing arts center. Want to make elements of a 20-page Brochure 3D. I tried this on pdf i created in illustrator and it wouldn’t give me the offset option. Any tips. And if i create several 3d areas, will the print piece still be viewable without glasses?

  2. Nick 11 December, 2009 at 22:11 Reply

    This is super helpful. Here’s a question: is that making 3-D from a 2-D image only, or does it require (or help) you to take 2 photographs to work from? If you do work from 2 photographs, is the process the same?

  3. PETER 11 February, 2010 at 14:58 Reply

    Yeah, sorry, when I select the Red Channel, Offset is unavailable. When they are all selected, it is available though. This is in CS4

  4. Paul 4 August, 2011 at 13:26 Reply

    way cool thanks muchly, it even looks like if you history brush the area you want to stand forward then off set again and history brush areas you want to stand more forward you can (it seems to me) be able to make multiple levels and you need to go to filter (top menu) then other it’s there 😉 hope it helps.
    Again thanks

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